Home > Contra Dancing > Tacoma Fifth Saturday



January 30, 2016

Hope you'll join us, at Wells Hall. Singles, couples, first-timers, and experienced dancers; All are Welcome. No partner needed; Alcohol and smoke-free; Workshop for newcomers (see below.) We have a great time, dancers, caller, and musicians too! Sponsored by the Seattle Folklore Society.

AMY CARROLL will teach and call the dances. She describes herself simply, as generating fun for folks moving to music. But what is behind that is the breadth of her experience in several traditions. Check out her recent past at , including the recent New Years Eve contra in Tacoma, and several dances in the Portland OR/Vancouver WA area the second weekend in January. A year ago we had a fine time with her calling the January 2015 Fifth Saturday dance. Check out the pic on her home page; calling at NW Folklife out in front of some the most respected names in contra playing, including the dean of contra piano players Bob McQuillen, who passed away in Spring 2014. Traditional calling and music are in good hands with Amy Carroll; if you show up to dance to her, you will be, too.

SMALL PLEASURES will be Vivian Williams on fiddle, Phil Katz on melodeons, and Phil Williams on guitar. We go back a long time playing for contra dances 41, 33, and 41 years respectively. Personally I can look out from the stage and recognize dancers I've been playing for since 1979 or 80. Phil W recently has had a "turn in the barrel" of health problems; we welcome his return to backup playing for us, that he loves to do. For this dance, special guest W.B. Reid will be joining us on banjo.

We call our style of playing "Northwest and Yankee Music". It owes a lot to our continued living-history project; bringing tunes to 21st century contra dancing, from Vivian's scholarship and republication of Northwest trad music tunebooks from the 19th century. (Talk with her about it at the dance. You'll find it fascinating and some of it, well, you just couldn't make up!) These historic tunes, in turn, fit in flawlessly with present day repertoire, and with the tunes that came out from New England to start our contra tradition here in the 1970's-80's.

As always, at Fifth Saturdays we will be playing "close to the dance and the dancers", choosing our tunes to match the dance chosen by the caller, and our styling to support the dancers as each dance evolves. It is always a pleasure to play for our friends out on the dance floor.

Specifics on the Event

The Fifth Saturday Contra Dance will be held at Christ Church Wells Hall, 310 North K Street, Tacoma - directions below. It is well-known as one of the sweetest halls in Puget Sound. (Note: It's the same location as the Tacoma Contra Dance that's held on most Third Saturdays.)

The dance will run from 8:00 - 11:00 pm. The cost is $9.00, with a $2.00 discount for 18 down and 65 up. As always, a 10% discount will be available to Seattle Folklore Society members who request it.

There will be a newcomers' intro-lesson at 7:30 pm. Contra dancing is "not rocket science", and by the third dance, anyone looking out over the crowd will likely be unable to tell who just learned that evening! We are proud of the tradition of asking newcomers and visitors to dance, and looking after them on the dance floor. (Experienced dancers often bring friends they've been wanting to introduce to contra dancing, and help out by dancing in the mini-lesson.)

Directions to Wells Hall   

310 North "K" Street, Tacoma

From Seattle, "Eastside" of Lake Washington, or Des Moines

I-5 south to exit 133 (Tacoma City Center). Then take I-705 and the Schuster Parkway exit on the right (still called I-705). From there again stay right and take the Stadium Way (first) exit from Schuster Pkwy. At the top of the exit ramp, turn right. The street goes up hill. Follow it til it ends, then swing left onto North 1st. You pass Stadium Thriftway and a Chevrolet lot, and then merge into Division at a traffic light. Continue on Division, turn right onto North "K". Wells Hall is the second building on the left. Enter the dance through the church courtyard.

From Olympia

Take Interstate 5 to Tacoma, exit 132 (Route 16-Gig Harbor exit), which is quite a bit south of the center of Tacoma. Head for Route 16 (skipping the S 38th St exit); once in the curving exit ramp, keep your eyes peeled for the immediate first exit (1A); to Sprague Avenue. Once on S Sprague Ave at street level, you're heading north; pass lights at 19th and 12th (or 11th) until you come to multi-way light at 6th. Take the soft right into Division (not the sharp right into 6th). Follow Division to the light at North "K" Street and take a left. Wells Hall is the second building on the left.

From West of the Narrows Bridge

Take WA 16 east across the Narrows, and take exit 1B for Union Ave. Keep left at the fork; follow signs for University of Puget Sound. Turn left onto S Union Ave (at which point you'll be northbound.) Go about 1.5 mile and turn right into 6th Avenue. Follow 6th about a mile to a multi-way intersection; there take a soft left into Division Ave. Follow Division to North "K" Street, where you take a left. Wells Hall is the second building on the left.

For more information please contact:
Phil Katz - - 206 722 8228.
(you know what to do with the ZZZ)

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Last modified 01/25/16.